Will it be fully electric or not?
It was back in 2007 when the current Nissan GT-R originally launched, which if it weren’t for most other cars, would have been written off as a dinosaur a couple of years ago. To Nissan’s credit, the GT-R has received numerous updates and, most recently, a significant refresh. But the day will come when it’ll be permanently retired. So what’ll happen then? Autocar spoke to Nissan design chief Alfonso Albaisa at the Goodwood Festival of Speed a few days ago, and he admitted early design work is for the next GT-R is underway.
That’s not so surprising, but what is is that Nissan management has yet to decide the car’s powertrain and platform. Both those factors will play a significant role for the design time. But what Albaisa did fully acknowledge is that it the GT-R’s successor won’t take styling cues from the ItalDesign GT-R50 special edition because it “has to be its own special car.” Furthermore, Albaisa said the new GT-R needs to be “the fastest super sports car in the world.” That much appears to be certain, but Albaisa once again reiterated that “the challenge is on the engineer, to be honest. We will do our jobs when the time comes to make the car something really special. But we’re not even close to that yet.”
A fairly good arrival date estimate is somewhat early in the next decade. Question is, will the next GT-R be fully electrified or not? “Whether we go to a lot of electrification or none at all, we can achieve a lot power wise,” he said. “But we are definitely making a new ‘platform’ and our goal is clear: GT-R has to be the quickest car of its kind. It has to ‘own’ the track. And it has to play the advanced technology game; but that doesn’t mean it has to be electric.” As everyone already well knows, Nissan has quite a bit of experience with electrified powertrains, including the Leaf and the LMP1 GT-R race car that never actually raced. The latter came powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 paired to a hybrid system.
That’s certainly one way Nissan could go, but we think they’ll wind up going a few steps beyond. Why? Because the lifecycle of the current GT-R is already over a decade, stands to reason Nissan will want its successor to last a similar period of time.